Every one eats and everyone excretes. It is a very natural phenomenon. Everyone know how do these two processes work but what we don’t generally know is how long does it take to digest a meal? The process is long but not very complicated. In this article we have outlines and then talked in details about the journey of your food starting from your mouth! Rather, we will start from your first glance on the food. There are so many other processes yet to happen which will explain exactly how long does it take to digest a meal.
When we see food our mind makes our stomach secrete gastric juices which make our body feel hungry and we start to crave food. Once we eat food the breakdown of the minerals in the food starts right in out mouth. There is an enzyme in our saliva called amylase which works first by breaking down the complex carbohydrates that you have consumed in your food. Our mouth helps by the mechanical chewing of food which breaks down the food into pieces giving the amylase more surface area to extract carbohydrates from. Out small intestine also gets in action and uses these chewed up pieces in our mouth to absorb some other nutrients.
Then our bargain allows the food to be swallowed and the food ends up in our stomach where the big things happen and we discover that how long does it take to digest a meal. There is a lot of further breaking down of food. The gastric juices now present in the stomach will abstract other related minerals. The enzyme names pepsinogen is responsible for the break down and absorbing of protein whereas gastric lipase is the enzyme which breaks down the fats in your food. After the churning of the stomach and abstraction of minerals by the enzymes present in the stomach, we are left with ‘chime’. It is a mixture of all the chemicals excreted by the enzymes in the stomach with hydrochloric acid.
Now the chime makes its journey into the small intestine where it is greeted by duodenum whose job is to neutralize the acidity and make the chime safe enough to further travel in to the intestines. When given a green signal from the duodenum, the chime moves in to the jejunum which absorbs whatever minerals are left in the chime. It breaks down the nutrients even more and makes them tiny enough to enter the bloodstream and help your body.
Of all the time for how long does it take to digest a meal, the meal has now spent about 3 hours through its journey till intestine and about 5 hours in the small intestine where all the nutrients it had are now extracted and only things left now are water sodium. Then it moves in to large intestine where the water is retrieved and out of all the time for how long does it take to digest a meal, chime takes 73 hours to be processed in here to finally be discarded as defecation.